The Star Hotshots have signed Mark Barroca and Rodney Brondial to new two-year contracts, thus retaining the nucleus of the team that reached the semifinals in all three conferences of the last season of the PBA.
Among the 12 teams in the league, Star had the distinction of having the biggest turnaround last season with a +20 won games, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Star earlier signed Peter June Simon to a one-year-contract and rookie sensation Robert Herndon to a two-year deal.
Barroca, Simon, and Brondial were part of the squad that advanced to the semifinals of the 42nd season’s Philippine Cup, Commissioner’s Cup, and Governors’ Cup under rookie coach Chito Victolero.
The terms of the latest deals were not disclosed.
Still left unsigned is Reavis, who is reportedly still vacationing in the U.S.
Barroca has seen a remarkable rise in popularity among Star fans, even surprising everyone when he became the top vote-getter in last year’s All-Star voting.
His signing put an end to the aspirations of Star’s draft picks other than Herndon to land a spot on the team’s roster.
Star board member Rene Pardo told Spin.ph that Barroca’s re-enlistment completes the team’s backcourt rotation that includes top guards Paul Lee, sophomore Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, and Peter June Simon.
Pardo said Herndon is the only rookie that Star has signed but may add Gwynn Capacio as a practice player. If Star also signs Capacio, they will have 17 players, including possibly two practice players.
That shuts the door on La Salle point guard Tomas Torres, Star’s third-round pick this year, and former Adamson wingman Gian Abrigo who, along with Herndon, was traded by GlobalPort in exchange for Lervin Flores, Joseph Gabayni, and Julian Sargent.
With Reavis still left unsigned, the Hotshots only have Ian Sangalang, Kyle Pascual, Marc Pingris, Aldrech Ramos, and Brondial as frontliners.
The other members of the team are Riego Gamalinda, Rome dela Rosa, Alvin Abundo, and Gryann Mendoza.